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One of their better attempts at setting the market alight , was the Huawei Nova Plus. It does look a bit different to the eye when you see a Huawei device sporting a non Honor branding , but Huawei has been doing this in the past as well, so its not really a new turn.
The Huawei Nova Plus is a device you can easily relate to the Mate series, with a lot of attention being given to the camera setup here. Was the Nova Plus good enough to leave a dent? Lets find out –
DESIGN AND DISPLAY –
The Huawei Nova Plus features a mix of several design elements from the Huawei lineup of old, with a few refinements and additions. Huawei has made sure that while the smaller Nova shares its DNA with the P9 in terms of design, the larger and more premium Nova Plus features more of the Mate Design language. By doing this, Huawei has given its customers two premium designs in an affordable package.
So, on the Nova Plus, we have an all metal body ( made out of airplane grade aluminium ), and I must say, the device is surprisingly light at 162 grams. Huawei have also included the 2.5D curved glass to the mix and given the Nova Plus a nice little touch, considering how often the 2.5 D displays are making an appearance these days. The bezels are slim, allowing Huawei to accommodate the 5.5 inch display in a rather compact frame. Ofcourse, being a phablet, the amount of compact is not exactly a lot, but trust me, the Nova Plus has been designed to look like a truly premium device.
The controls on the device are pretty standard for a Huawei Device, complete with the hybrid Sim solution. For those of you who don’t know what I mean, in hybrid Sim solution, the second Sim slot can double as a MicroSD slot, so in case you are someone who bought this device, but has only one SIM card, you can use the other slot as a MicroSD slot for memory expansion. Dedicated slots are always better, but this technology seems to be catching up these days.
Coming to the display, the Huawei Nova Plus features a Full HD 5.5 inch IPS LCD panel, which, with a pixel density of close to 403 ppi, does a powerful job up front. Sure, you could argue that QHD displays are the IN thing today, but keep in mind, that the Nova Plus is a mid ranger at the end of the day, and for that category, Full HD is more than enough. One drawback here is that Huawei has not provided any sort of protection for the display, and thus, as a result, the display is a scratch magnet. Looks like a screen guard is definitely in order along with this device.
Like most Huawei devices, the Nova Plus has good viewing angles, a good enough degree of brightness and modes that assist you in viewing under sunlight, although on its own, the sunlight legibility is pretty poor. The device also features a blue light filter that helps you view the display in dark light conditions.
All in all, Huawei got the design area bang on, but it looks like they lost the plot in terms of the display. Sure, Full HD panels are something all mid rangers today feature, but when you omit the default screen protection, it immediately puts your device on the back foot.
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY –
The Huawei Nova Plus features a 3,340 mAh battery, which is enough to give you an easy day’s worth of use even on moderate to heavy usage. Conservative usage should give you another half day’s worth of usage. Battery life is something you can’t pin point as it varies with use and the user, but as a benchmark, you can assume around a day’s worth of usage on a single charge. Smartphones today come with average battery setups making them instant fails, but in case of the Nova Plus, the battery setup is quite strong.
In terms of the performance, the Nova Plus features the mid range Snapdragon 625 chipset, which features eight Cortex-A53 cores, running at 2.0 GHz, and the new Adreno 506 GPU. This setup is the only factor that differentiates the Nova Plus and the Premium Flagship devices in the market. Alongside this setup, we get 3GB on board RAM , which pairs excellently with the chipset to give you a decent multi tasking experience. Gaming should work fine as well, but we will only know once we do a detailed test on that front.
The highlight of the Snapdragon 625 chip is that it is manufactured using the famed 14nm process. It is the same fabrication process Qualcomm uses for its flagship offerings,like the Snapdragon 820 , and so its really uncommon to see the process being extended to the mid range family of processors. The biggest advantage of this process is that it allows for less power consumption and lower running temperature than any other mid-range solution to date.
All in all, the Nova Plus is pretty strong when it comes to the performance department, and users should have no problem breezing through their tasks without expecting those nagging lags and hitches.
In the beginning of the review, I mentioned that the Nova Plus is a camera centric mid range phablet, and finally, we will find out if Huawei’s claims have any merit. So, on the photography front, the Huawei Nova Plus features a 16 MP shooter with OIS, Phase detection, an f2.0 aperture and a contrast detection autofocus. Huawei has also pointed out that each camera pixels are 1.12 microns big.
Coming to the features of the camera, Huawei has packed in a lot in the Nova Plus for all sorts of smartphone photography enthusiasts. We have a simple camera UI to start with, and once acclimatized to the same, you have a host of new features. Shooting modes include Manual mode, Super Night, HDR, All focus and Watermark.
Coming to the quality , the Nova Plus churns out some solid photos with top notch quality, accurate colours and average noise levels. Selfies on the Nova Plus are a breeze too, with a powerful 8MP selfie snapper paired with an f2.0 aperture that work in unison to give you some stunning selfies.
Video recording maxes out at 2160p, which is the industry standard these days, but Huawei seems to have omitted 1080p recording at 60fps. Details in the videos is rich when it comes to the 2160p recording mode, but the quality takes a hit when it is used in 1080p recording. Audio recording on both modes is average.
Overall, it looks like as far as photography is concerned, Huawei have delivered on their word, and the inclusion of OIS in a mid range device is surely a boon. Video recording needs improvement, and I hope Huawei include the fixes in future models.
All in all, Huawei seems to have a solid mid range phablet on their hands, which, is all shortcomings had been fixed, would have surely challenged the best in its segment. However, the omissions in the device are so embarrassingly simple and primitive, that its really something you cannot pardon. After all, you are paying up extra for the Nova Plus, so you would expect to get your money’s worth.
If the omissions are OK, then by all means, go and grab one of these devices , before they sell out or face discontinuity.